– Naomi Krizner
Leaving New Orleans and looking back at my most eventful week, I realized the one thing I got most from the experience. I felt this renewed spark in me. Just seeing all those youth come together and focus solely on Christ and take their faith seriously was just a big wow for me. To see the results from all of us coming together just caused my spirit to become an inferno. I realized that youth are actually capable of having an impact on the world. I always had an impression that no one can do anything until they grow up and gain authority. But that is no longer true for me, and I intend to continue to put this in action.
I expected the Gathering to be more textbook oriented, to sit down and over-analyze the Bible. The minute I stepped into the Convention Center, those expectations flew out the window. I mean, you could actually play volleyball and ping pong! Exploring the Convention Center some more, we found there were really cool exhibits about issues that needed attention, like human trafficking, for instance. Reading real stories and seeing statistics just made me want to do something about it. And the evenings at the Superdome were filled with energy and spirit that can only be given by God.
I saw God almost everywhere that week. I saw God in all of the youth who were so willing to put forth their time and efforts towards people they never met. To me that is the real Christian. I saw God in the adults as they had to put up with the unending energy of the youth. I saw God in the speakers as we heard passion in their voices and saw it in their faces. To see God in that many places fortified my faith and pushed me toward devoting more of my life to God.
The Gathering changed me in so many ways. I can walk around with my back straight and say, “I know there’s a God. I know God exists.” I used to think no other young Christian took their faith as seriously as me. Because of that, I was afraid to show it. But now, I know that’s not true.
Naomi is from Upper Dublin Lutheran Church in Ambler, PA